Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fantastic Italian Villages

The Trout here, wanting to share our short trip into Italy this fall.  

While planning our SE France trip for last October, I came across a great blog about the Nice area by Kevin Hin titled French  Riviera Blog.  One of his suggested side trips was a short drive to the NerviaValley just inside the Italian border above Ventimiglia.  Four wonderful hillside villages are located in the valley within easy driving distance of each other.

The first village is Dolceacqua with its famous bridge Ponte Romano leading from the modern side of the village into the old village.  The  bridge was a favorite scene for Monet to paint way back when.  There is an old castle in ruins above the village.

Once inside the old village, both Susan and I commented on how enclosed the passages felt.  Ghostly silent also, with very narrow passages leading upward to homes with bridges connecting each side of the passages.  We wondered how it would be to live in such a  seemingly  confined space with little light and warm air.

Next came the village of Rocchetta Nervinia which seemed to cling precariously to the hillside above the bubbling stream below.  It too had very narrow and dark passages within the village with that ghostly feeling of silence and closed in existence for its residents.

The other villages are Isolabona and probably the most spectacular of all, Apricale.  Please visit Kevin's blog  for some incredible pictures of these villages.  We didn't want to challenge the narrow curvy road to either so we left them for another time, hopefully to stay a couple of days in a lovely B&B to experience how it is to live in such a quaint setting.  Probably much more cheerful than we now imagine.

We have enjoyed so many villages all over Europe but these just have that unbelievable medieval feeling about them and how hard life must have been at times as these villages were started and added to.
But the valley produces its own unique red wine called Rossese as well as olive oil which we enjoyed at a nice lunch in Dolceaqua.  Another world we discovered!!


  1. I was so excited when I saw your first photo! We went to Dolceacqua 7 years ago; I remember it well! You just brought back great memories; merci!
    Wishing you and your family a healthy and happy 2013.

  2. We want to visit Italy on our next trip to Provence and so I was thrilled to see this post this morning. These villages are very quaint and lovely, but it does seem as if you've stepped back in time. Your word medieval describes them perfectly.

    Wishing you both a happy and healthy new year. Meakin and I hope to see more of you both in 2013.

  3. Beautiful photos! It looks like it was a lovely trip! Happy New Year to you and Susan!

  4. I wish you both a very Happy New Year, Schnitzel and Trout, full of peaceful happy days, some adventures and satisfactions! These villages have a very special quality!

  5. We are starting to plan a trip to Italy and your post is going directly into my travel folder, Dale. What fun to discover new (in this case old) interesting places. That's the fun of traveling. Happy New Year to you and Susan.

  6. What lovely photos, Susan. The point you raised is well taken, but the $4.00 is for food and beverages for the entire day, not a single meal. Warehouse shopping is an excellent idea if you have enough accumulated cash to take advantage of the benefits. Most SNAP recipients can't get ahead of the curve and can't . shop that way.Have a wonderful New Year! Mary

  7. Gorgeous scenes! Thank you for sharing your photos of with us.

  8. Anonymous8:40 PM

    Dale-- these were great pictures and descriptions. What a find and off the beaten path. How fun.


  9. Just about to watch a series on TV Inside Italy,. I country I never got to but would have loved to. Love your photos.

  10. Do you know if you can fly fish in the rivers at Dolceacqua?

  11. Have not read about fly fishing this area, but it certainly could be possible.